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Amendment to Constitution must be a product of dialogue process, says PeP

THE Patriots for Economic Progress says the PF government actions is undermining the planned dialogue process by unilaterally drafting a Constitutional Amendment Bill without input of political and civil society stakeholders.

In a statement, PeP president Sean Tembo stated that the proposed amendments to the current constitution formed a key part of the envisaged agenda for the dialogue process.

He stated that any planned amendments to the Republican Constitution must be a product of the dialogue process and not the opinions of the ruling party and its government.

“Therefore, the decision by the PF and its government to unilaterally draft a Constitutional Amendment Bill, which they plan to take to Parliament without any input by key stakeholders, is an exhibit in itself, of the level of contempt which the PF and its government have towards the national dialogue process which they claim to be committed to,” he stated.

Tembo further challenged the PF government to tell the country that they were committed to the dialogue process instead of wasting people’s time.

He said the decision by the PF to separately draft a Constitutional Amendment Bill had far-reaching consequences in undermining the possible success of the national dialogue process.

Tembo additionally cautioned the PF government that should the national dialogue process fail and the country goes to the 2021 polls without the necessary constitutional, electoral, governance, media and other necessary reforms, the country would risk having a full-scale national conflict in 2021.

“If the PF and its government decide that they’re committed to the dialogue process, then they must henceforth stop undertaking actions, which have the impact of undermining the dialogue process. The decision by the PF and its government to unilaterally draft a Constitutional Amendment Bill, has far-reaching consequences in undermining the possible success of the national dialogue process,” stated Tembo.
“We further wish to take this opportunity to advise the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, that this is a time to provide leadership and ensure that the national dialogue process succeeds, instead of playing silly political games. It must be noted that our future national security is dependent upon the success of the national dialogue process and the PF and its government must refrain from undermining this national dialogue process, and by extension, our future national security.”

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